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  • Long-Time LA Phil Collaborator John Adams Leads a Green Umbrella Series Concert and Two Presentations of His Opera
    a Flowering Tree During His La Phil on Location Residency
  • May. 12, 2009
  • Timothy Andres’ Nightjar Receives its World Premiere During the Green Umbrella Series Program; the Peter Sellars-staged A Flowering Tree Features Guest Artists Eric Owens, Jessica Rivera, Russell Thomas and the Los Angeles Master Chorale

    TUESDAY, MAY 12, 2009, AT 8 PM

    FRIDAY, MAY 15, 2009, AT 8 PM

    SUNDAY, MAY 17, 2009, AT 2 PM

    May 12 Media Sponsor: Los Angeles Magazine

    May 15 Media Sponsor: Time Warner Cable

    Award-winning composer and conductor John Adams, recently announced as the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Creative Chair, brings his impressive musical range and conducting talents to Walt Disney Concert Hall to lead two important programs during his LA Phil On Location residency. The first, a Green Umbrella series Composer’s Choice program on Tuesday, May 12, at 8 p.m., features the world premiere of the LA Phil-commissioned work by Timothy Andres titled Nightjar, as well as Andres’ How can I live in your world of ideas?, Payton MacDonald’s Cowboy Tabla/Cowboy Raga for Percussion and Chamber Orchestra and Adams’ own Son of Chamber Symphony. Adams caps off his On Location concerts by leading the Philharmonic in two semi-staged concert presentations of A Flowering Tree, whose libretto was created by Adams and Peter Sellars, Friday, May 15, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 17, at 2 p.m. The two-act opera, staged by Sellars, features guest soloists Jessica Rivera, soprano; Russell Thomas, tenor; Eric Owens, bass; the Los Angeles Master Chorale; and dancers Eko Supriyanto, Rusini Sidi and Astri Kusuma Wardani. The opera was co-commissioned by the Vienna New Crowned Hope Festival, the San Francisco Symphony, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Barbican Center and Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth.

    Andres’ Nightjar, the third piece of the Green Umbrella series program, is named for the elusive bird of that name. The work begins with a chorus of nocturnal noises that mimic the sounds of the animals and insects that initially frightened, but later comforted the composer when he was a child. Andres’ How can I live in your world of ideas? opens the concert. Written in 2007, the piece takes its title from the caption of a cartoon the composer drew. Originally written for two pianos, Andres transcribed it for a solo pianist – himself – because he needed something to play at short notice. This version, however, presents more of a challenge to the pianist to denote the mercurial transitions that characterize the piece.

    Sandwiched between the Andres works is MacDonald’s Cowboy Tabla/Cowboy Raga. Cowboy Tabla is an orchestrated tabla solo, but the soloist plays Western percussion instruments instead of the Northern Indian tabla. Cowboy Raga stems from the composer’s Super Marimba project, in which he plays an acoustic marimba amplified with the sounds fed into looping machines and delay pedals. The title refers to the curious “filtering” process that occurs when an Idaho native creates music influenced by music learned while traveling around the world.

    The Green Umbrella series concert closes with Adams’ Son of Chamber Symphony, which was commissioned by Stanford University, Carnegie Hall and the San Francisco Ballet, and dedicated to Ara Guzelimian. The three-piece movement carries a rhythmic edginess due to the choreographic intent, evidence that Adams had the dancers who would be performing the piece in mind while composing. The final movement is inspired by Adams’ Fellow Traveler, written in honor of Peter Sellars’ 50th birthday.

    Later the same week, Adams concludes his On Location residency by leading the Sellars-staged presentation of A Flowering Tree. The impetus for the opera, which is based on a 2000-year-old South Indian folk tale, was an invitation from long-time collaborator Sellars to create a work inspired by Mozart’s The Magic Flute for his 2006 New Crowned Hope Festival in Vienna. Both are love stories about transformation, responsibility, trial by fire, redemption and miracles. The story unfolds through three singers, all original performers in the world premiere – Jessica Rivera as Kumudha, Russell Thomas as the Prince and Eric Owens as the Storyteller – and three virtuosic Indonesian dancers who double the characters. The Los Angeles Master Chorale performs Adams’ powerful choral interludes which both propel and comment on the narrative.

    The LA Phil’s groundbreaking Green Umbrella new music series is a tribute to adventurous, open-minded and curious music lovers. The Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group was launched in 1981 under composer-in-residence and Philharmonic percussionist William Kraft, as one of several contemporary music projects envisioned and organized by the Philharmonic’s Managing Director at the time, Ernest Fleischmann. Praised for its imaginative programming and expert and enthusiastic performances, the New Music Group is recognized as one of the premier performing groups of its kind in the country.

    The Green Umbrella concert is the final event of the 2008/09 series.

    Upbeat Live pre-performance discussions are free to ticket-holders, and occur one hour prior in BP Hall. Los Angeles Philharmonic Artistic Administrator Helane Anderson hosts the May 12 discussion. Philharmonic Vice President of Artistic Planning Chad Smith hosts the discussions scheduled for May 15 and 17, and is joined by Peter Sellars.

    JOHN ADAMS, one of America’s most admired and respected composers, is a musician of enormous range and technical command. His many operatic and symphonic works stand out among contemporary classical compositions for their depth of expression, their sonic brilliance, and the profoundly humanist nature of their themes. Born and raised in New England and educated at Harvard, Adams moved in 1971 to California, where he taught for 10 years at the San Francisco Conservatory and was composer-in-residence at the San Francisco Symphony. Adams’s operatic works are among the most successful of our time. Nixon in China, The Death of Klinghoffer and Doctor Atomic, all created in collaboration with stage director Peter Sellars, draw their subjects from archetypical themes in contemporary history. Doctor Atomic had its New York premiere at the Metropolitan Opera in October 2008 under conductor Alan Gilbert, in a new production by Penny Woolcock. Adams’ On the Transmigration of Souls, written for the New York Philharmonic to mark the first anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks, received the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Music, and won a rare “triple crown” of Grammy awards: “Best Classical Recording,” “Best Orchestral Performance,” and “Best Classical Contemporary Composition.” In 2003, a film version of The Death of Klinghoffer, directed by Penny Woolcock and with the composer conducting the London Symphony Orchestra, was released in theaters, on television, and on DVD. Wonders Are Many, a documentary by Jon Else on the making of Doctor Atomic, premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and was a New York Times Critics’ Pick. Adams has been awarded honorary degrees and proclamations by Cambridge University, Harvard University, Yale School of Music, Phi Beta Kappa, the governor of California, the French Legion of Honor, and Northwestern University, where he was awarded the first Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Music Composition. Nonesuch Records released Adams’s Harmonielehre in 1985, and all of his works since then have appeared first on that label. A 10-CD set, “The John Adams Earbox”, documents his recorded music through 2000. Hallelujah Junction, Adams’s recently-completed volume of memoirs and commentary on American musical life, was published in October 2008 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in the U.S. and by Faber & Faber in the U.K. The John Adams Reader: Essential Writings on an American Composer (Amadeus Press, 2006), edited by Thomas May, is the first in-depth anthology of texts dealing with more than 30 years of Adams’s creative life. John Adams is active as a conductor, appearing with the world’s greatest orchestras. A regular guest at the BBC Proms, he has appeared in recent seasons with such orchestras as the London Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and New York Philharmonic, and with orchestras in Atlanta, Stockholm, San Francisco, and Detroit. Adams has also received critical acclaim for his creative programming at the most important music venues in the world. In April and May of 2003, Lincoln Center presented a festival titled “John Adams: An American Master,” the most extensive festival that the venue has ever devoted to a living composer. As the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall from 2003 - 2007, Adams conducted the first public concert in Carnegie’s Zankel Hall and founded the annual “In Your Ear” festival. In 2006, he curated the hugely popular Minimalist Jukebox for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. As Artist-in-Association with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, he regularly conducted the orchestra at London’s Barbican Center. Adams has also served as Music Director of the Cabrillo Festival and Creative Chair of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He is currently planning a new festival for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 2009/10 season that will concentrate on West Coast music and culture. The official John Adams web site is The music of John Adams is published by Boosey & Hawkes and by Associated Music Publishers.

    Renowned theater, opera, and festival director PETER SELLARS is one of the most innovative and powerful forces in the performing arts in America and abroad. A visionary artist, Sellars is known for ground-breaking interpretations of classic works. Whether it is Mozart, Handel, Shakespeare, Sophocles, or the 16th-century Chinese playwright Tang Xianzu. Sellars strikes a universal chord with audiences, engaging contemporary social and political issues. Sellars has staged operas at the Chicago Lyric Opera, the Glyndebourne Festival, the Netherlands Opera, the Opéra National de Paris, the Salzburg Festival and the San Francisco Opera, among others. Following his iconic stagings of Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Così fan tutte in the 1980s, Sellars established a reputation for bringing 20th-century and contemporary operas to the stage, including works by Olivier Messiaen, Paul Hindemith and György Ligeti. Inspired by the compositions of Kaija Saariaho, Osvaldo Golijov and Tan Dun, he has guided the creation of productions of their work that have expanded the repertoire of modern opera. He has been a driving force in the creation of many new works with longtime collaborator John Adams, including Nixon in China, The Death of Klinghoffer, El Niño, Doctor Atomic and, most recently, A Flowering Tree, which premiered in Vienna in 2006. Other Sellars’ projects have included a Chicano version of Stravinsky’s The Story of a Soldier; an Antonin Artaud radio play coupled with the poetry of the late June Jordan, For an End to the Judgment of God/Kissing God Goodbye, staged as a press conference on the war in Afghanistan; and a production of the Euripides play The Children of Herakles, focusing on contemporary immigration and refugee issues and experience. Sellars has led several major arts festivals, including the 1990 and 1993 Los Angeles Festivals, the 2002 Adelaide Festival in Australia; and the 2003 Venice Biennale International Festival of Theater in Italy. He was artistic director of New Crowned Hope, a month-long festival for which he invited international artists from diverse cultural backgrounds to create new work in the fields of music, theater, dance, film, the visual arts and architecture for the city of Vienna’s 2006 Mozart Year, celebrating the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth. Sellars is a professor in the department of World Arts and Cultures at UCLA and a resident curator of the Telluride Film Festival. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, the Erasmus Prize, the Sundance Institute Risk-Takers Award and the Gish Prize, and he was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

    Composer and pianist TIMOTHY ANDRES was born in 1985, in Palo Alto, CA. He grew up in rural Connecticut and is currently studying at Yale School of Music. His compositions juxtapose his classical music background with interests in the natural world, graphic arts, cooking and photography. He has been praised for his “acute ear” by The New York Times’ music critic Anthony Tommasini and his “stubborn nose,” by the New Yorker’s Alex Ross. An avid pianist from an early age, Andres performs frequently, focusing especially on music by his contemporaries. Eleanor Hancock was his piano teacher for many years, and later he studied with Frederic Chiu, Boris Berman and Elisabeth Parisot. Recent commissions include: Senior, a work for the ACME string quartet and New York Youth Symphony; some Connecticut Gospel, an octet for members of New World Symphony; Bathtub Shrine, an orchestral elegy for the Yale Symphony; and Nightjar, a chamber orchestra work for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Andres has spent summers at Tanglewood, Norfolk, Bowdoin and Aspen music festivals. He first studied composition during high school, at Julliard’s Pre-College division (with Eric Ewazen) and has since worked with Ingram Marshall, Aaron Jay Kernis, Chris Theofanidis, John Halle, Matthew Suttor, Kathryn Alexander, Michael Klingbeil and Orianna Webb. As an undergraduate at Yale, Andres wrote music criticism for the Yale Daily News and ran IGIGI, a coalition of Yale-affiliated composers. He was a founding member of the Hindemith Ensemble, Yale’s premiere chamber ensemble, and toured Germany with them as pianist and composer-in-residence. He has been awarded a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the BMI Carlos Surinach award and three ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers’ Awards.

    Composer/performer PAYTON MACDONALD has received composing grants and awards from ASCAP, Meet the Composer, American Music Center and American Institute of Indian Studies, as well as fellowships from Yaddo and Ragdale. Numerous ensembles have performed his music in the U.S., Japan, Canada and Europe, including Alarm Will Sound, So Percussion, Quintet Mont Royal, Classical Jam, and tabla soloist Shawn Mativetsky. MacDonald recently performed his percussion concerto in Carnegie Hall. The New York Times described him as an "energetic soloist." His music has also been described as ". . . engaging and utterly beautiful." (Sequenza 21) MacDonald has been a featured performer of his own music on festivals in Montreal (Voyages) and Minneapolis (Electric Eyes). As a performer he is a founding member of Alarm Will Sound, a new-music group based in New York City. Alarm Will Sound is currently regarded as one of the foremost new music ensembles in the country and they have made four recordings, on the Nonesuch and Cantaloupe labels. The New York Times wrote that they are “the future of classical music.” With Alarm Will Sound MacDonald has performed at New York’s finest concert halls including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Miller Theater, Merkin Hall and Symphony Space. The ensemble has also performed in Holland, Russia, Boston, San Francisco and Minneapolis. MacDonald also frequently appears as a marimba soloist with Super Marimba and performs his own music using looping machines and delay pedals. From 1994-2004 MacDonald performed with Verederos, a flute and percussion duo. Verederos performed concerts nationwide and recorded two CDs under the Equilibrium label. He has also appeared as a soloist in England and Croatia, performed with Present Music, and toured Japan with Keiko Abe and the Galaxy percussion group. MacDonald earned his BFA from the University of Michigan, where he studied percussion with Michael Udow. He earned his MM, DMA, and the Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music where he studied percussion with John Beck and composition with Sydney Hodkinson, Robert Morris and Augusta Read Thomas. Further studies include tabla with Bob Becker and Pandit Sharda Sahai, the latter of whom MacDonald is a disciple. MacDonald teaches music at William Paterson University and when not composing, performing or teaching music, he competes in triathlons and is also an arachnoculturist.

    Acclaimed for his commanding stage presence and inventive artistry, American bass-baritone ERIC OWENS has carved a unique place in the contemporary opera world as both a champion of new music and a powerful interpreter of classic works. Called “consistently charismatic, theatrically and vocally” by New York Magazine and “absolutely remarkable” by The Philadelphia Inquirer, Owens is equally at home in concert, recital and opera performances, bringing his powerful poise, expansive voice and instinctive acting faculties to stages around the globe. Early in the 2008/09 season Owens made his Metropolitan Opera debut as General Leslie Groves in John Adams’ Doctor Atomic, a role created specifically for him by Adams, and recently had a Carnegie Hall solo recital, one of three appearances there this season. His other Carnegie Hall performances included Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer with the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Charles Dutoit, and Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle. Additionally, Owens made a second appearance on the Metropolitan Opera stage in December 2008 as Sarastro in The Magic Flute, and returned to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden to sing opposite Anna Netrebko and Elïna Garanca in Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi in the spring. In February 2009, Owens sang scenes from Strauss’s Elektra and Die Frau ohne Schatten with Christine Brewer and the Atlanta Symphony under Donald Runnicles in performances to be recorded by Telarc. Owens’ career operatic highlights include appearances at the most major opera houses throughout the world and he is a regular guest of the major American and European orchestras. He has worked with today’s leading conductors including Wolfgang Sawallisch, Lorin Maazel, Michael Tilson Thomas, Yuri Temirkanov, Christoph von Dohnányi, Franz Welser-Möst, John Nelson and Robert Spano. Owens is featured on a Telarc recording of Mozart’s Requiem with Donald Runnicles and the Atlanta Symphony. Owens, a long-term collaborator of John Adams’, is featured on the September 2008 Nonesuch Records release of A Flowering Tree. Additionally, the composer/conductor led the American bass-baritone in his setting of Whitman’s The Wound Dresser in a live broadcast with the BBC Proms at Royal Albert Hall, and with the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Owens made his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut under the baton of David Robertson in Adams’ Nativity oratorio El Niño. In addition to great popular and critical acclaim, Owens has been recognized with multiple awards, including the 2003 Marian Anderson Award, a 1999 ARIA award and First Prize in the Plácido Domingo Operalia Competition, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition. Other awards include first prize in the MacAllister Awards Voice Competition, first prize in New York’s Opera Index Career Grant Auditions, first prize in the Palm Beach Opera National Voice Competition and first prize in the Mario Lanza Voice Competition. Owens was also an ARTS Award recipient in The National Foundation for Advancement in Arts’ 1988 Arts Recognition and Talent Search. A native of Philadelphia, Owens began his music training as a pianist at the age of 6, followed by formal oboe study at age 11 under Lloyd Shorter of the Delaware Symphony and Louis Rosenblatt of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He later studied voice while an undergraduate at Temple University and then as a graduate student at the Curtis Institute of Music, and currently studies with Armen Boyajian. He serves on the Board of Trustees of both the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts and Astral Artistic Services.

    Hailed by The New York Times as a “vocally luminous young soprano,” JESSICA RIVERA is quickly establishing herself as one of the most creatively inspired vocal artists of her generation. The intelligence, dimension, and spirituality that she infuses in her performances on the international concert and opera stages have garnered Rivera unique artistic collaborations with many of today’s most celebrated composers including John Adams, Osvaldo Golijov and Nico Muhly, and has brought her together in collaboration with such esteemed conductors as Bernard Haitink, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robert Spano and Michael Tilson Thomas. Her appearance in A Flowering Tree offered the artist her debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle, and she gave additional performances, under the composer’s baton, with the San Francisco Symphony and with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Centre. The London performances were recorded and have been released commercially on the Nonesuch Records label. Rivera made her European operatic debut as Kitty Oppenheimer in Peter Sellars’ acclaimed production of John Adams’ Doctor Atomic with the Netherlands Opera, a role that also served for her debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago: she joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera this season for its new production of Doctor Atomic under the direction of Alan Gilbert. Other engagements of 2008/09 include concert performances of Doctor Atomic with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, El Niño with David Robertson and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, excerpts from Nixon in China with the Pittsburgh Symphony under the direction of Adams, and A Flowering Tree with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival. Last year she joined Miguel Harth-Bedoya and the Fort Worth Symphony as well as Michael Christie and the Phoenix Symphony for Mahler Symphony No. 4 and Bramwell Tovey and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, as Micaëla, in a concert performance of Carmen at the Hollywood Bowl. Rivera also tours Spain in performances of Osvaldo Golijov’s celebrated La Pasión según San Marcos with the Schola Cantorum de Caracas. The artist made her critically acclaimed Santa Fe Opera debut in the summer of 2005 as Nuria in the world premiere of the revised edition of Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar. She reprised the role for the 2007 Grammy Award winning Deutsche Grammophon recording of the work with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under Robert Spano, and bowed in the Peter Sellars staging at Lincoln Center, Opera Boston, as well as in performances at the Barbican Centre, the Adelaide Festival of Arts, and the Ojai and Ravinia Festivals. The artist’s first performances of Margarita Xirgu in Ainadamar, a role created by Dawn Upshaw, occurred in the summer of 2007 at the Colorado Music Festival under the baton of Michael Christie. Rivera has sung Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro and Musetta in La bohème with the Los Angeles Opera. As a member of the prestigious Los Angeles Opera Resident Artist Program for three seasons, she received critical acclaim from The New York Times for creating the role of Anastasia in the world premiere of Nicholas and Alexandra. She also sang Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, as well as roles in Peter Grimes, The Queen of Spades, Lohengrin, La Traviata, The Merry Widow, Die Zauberflöte, Gianni Schicchi, Don Giovanni and Nabucco.

    A native of Miami, tenor RUSSELL THOMAS is quickly establishing himself as one of the most exciting vocal and dramatic talents on the international opera and concert scene, most recently as the first-Prize winner of the prestigious “Competizione dell’Opera” in Dresden. Thomas’ current projects include Tamino in The Magic Flute at the Metropolitan Opera, his debut as the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto with the Arizona Opera, and the Steuermann in Der fliegende Holländer with Atlanta Opera. Thomas also reprises his role of the Prince for John Adams’ A Flowering Tree with the Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, the Perth International Festival and the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. Other notable debuts are the role of Mao Tse-Tung in Adams’ Nixon In China with the Pittsburgh Symphony and the composer conducting as well as concerts of Schubert’s Mass No. 6 with the Houston Symphony and Hans Graf. He also performed George Walker’s Lilacs with the Philadelphia Orchestra at Verizon Hall and Carnegie Hall/Stern Auditorium, conducted by Charles Dutoit, as well as the tenor soloist in Michael Tippett’s A Child Of Our Time as part of Jessye Norman’s Honor! Festival at Carnegie Hall/Stern Auditorium. In addition, Thomas appeared at Carnegie’s Weill Hall for the Marilyn Horne Foundation in a joint recital that was part of the mezzo’s 75th birthday celebration. Future plans include returns to the Metropolitan Opera as Foresto in Verdi’s Attila, as the Steuermann in Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer and to the Welsh National Opera as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly. Recent engagements included Tamino in The Magic Flute for Welsh National Opera, Malcolm in Macbeth for the Metropolitan Opera, as well as appearances at Festival d’Aix-en-Provence where he reprised his role of the Sultan in Zaide and A Flowering Tree at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, among other concert and recital engagements. Other past notable appearances include his recording for Elektra/Nonesuch of Adams’ A Flowering Tree with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and performances of the same role with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic, Handel’s Messiah with the New Jersey Symphony, Rossini’s Stabat Mater with Florida Grand Opera Chorus, and the U.S. Premier of Lorenzitti’s Messe A Grande Symphonie with the Miami Bach Society. Mr. Thomas also recorded Thomas Sleeper’s Aceldama: Field of Blood for Albany Records. An alumnus of the prestigious Lindemann Young Artist Development Program of the Metropolitan Opera, Russell Thomas was also a member of Seattle Opera Young Artist Program, a Roger R. Hinkley artist at the Florida Grand Opera, a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of St Louis, an apprentice at the Sarasota Opera and was proud to take part in the 2005 and 2006 Marlboro Music Festivals. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Music in Performance from the New World School of the Arts.

    The Grammy-nominated LOS ANGELES MASTER CHORALE is led by Music Director Grant Gershon, who also serves as associate conductor/chorus master of the LA Opera. The Chorale, currently celebrating its 45th season, is in its sixth season as the resident chorus at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Among other accolades, the chorus received the 2006 WQXR Gramophone Award for its 2005 Nonesuch Recording of Steve Reich’s You Are (Variations), and “Voices Within,” one of the Chorale’s highly successful outreach programs, earned the coveted Chorus America Education Outreach Award in 2008. Founded in 1964, the Chorale was the first organization in the nation to offer a complete season of great choral masterworks. In addition to presenting its own concert series at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Chorale performs regularly with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The Chorale has recorded two other CDs under Gershon’s baton, including Daniel Variations by Steve Reich on Nonesuch Records, and an RCM recording featuring Esa-Pekka Salonen’s first choral work, Two Songs to Poems of Ann Jäderlund, and Itaipu, by Philip Glass. It previously released three CDs under the baton of Music Director Emeritus Paul Salamunovich on RCM, including the Grammy-nominated Lauridsen-Lux Aeterna. The Chorale is also featured on the soundtracks of numerous major motion pictures, including Lady in the Water, License to Wed, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and Waterworld.

    RUSINI HENDRO PURNOMO SIDI has been a dancer and choreographer for 47 years. She is an alumna of the Akademi Seni Karawitan Indonesia (ASKI) Surakarta and co-founder of its dance department, and holds a master’s degree from Gajah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Since 1976 she has served on the faculty at the Indonesian Institute for the Arts in Surakarta, where she teaches Javanese court dance Bedhaya and Srimpi. She was born and grew up in a family of artists in Surakarta, and is the daughter of a “Gathotkaca” actor and dancer, bapak Rusman and ibu Darsi (one of the oldest and greatest master dancers in Solo), from the Wayang Orang Sriwedari (human puppet performance). Since 1980 Sidi has served as a teacher and dancer at the Mangkunegaran and Keraton Kasunanan palace in Surakarta. Her dances and choreographies have been performed on tour in Europe, Asia and the United States with the Indonesian Institute for the Arts and Mangkunegaran palace. She danced and choreographed for Peter Sellars and John Adams’ opera A Flowering Tree, which premiered at the New Crowned Hope Festival in Vienna in 2006 and was subsequently performed with the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle, the San Francisco Symphony, the Barbican Centre in London, the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Lincoln Center in New York, and now here at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Sidi is passionate about sharing her knowledge of Javanese court dances, and always open to the ideas of new contemporary vocabulary for her dances and choreography. She believes that her “rasa” of Javanese dance and willingness to engage on new collaborations add life to her dancing.

    EKO SUPRIYANTO is an alumnus and full-time faculty member of ISI Surakarta/The Indonesian Institute for the Arts in Solo, Central Java, Indonesia. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance and Choreography from the UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures (2001). He began studying Javanese court dances and the Indonesian martial art Pencak Silat with his grandfather in Magelang, Central Java when he was seven. His works have been presented in Indonesia, the United States (American Dance Festival 1997, APPEX 1997, 1999, and 2000, ACDFA, Highways Performance Space, The Getty Museum, Japan American Theatre), Asia and Europe. Supriyanto was a featured dancer on Madonna’s Drowned World tour in 2001 and has served as a dance consultant for the Los Angeles and national tour of Julie Taymor’s Lion King Broadway production. He has been artistic director of Solo Dance Studio in Surakarta, Indonesia since founding the group in 1996. Recently he danced and choreographed for Peter Sellars and John Adams’ opera A Flowering Tree, which premiered at the New Crowned Hope Festival in Vienna in 2006 and was subsequently performed with the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle, the San Francisco Symphony, the Barbican Centre in London, the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Lincoln Center in New York and now here at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Supriyanto is an actor, dancer, and choreographer for the Opera Jawa film (2006) directed by Garin Nugroho and produced by Peter Sellars. Most recently he danced and choreographed for The Iron Bed, directed by Garin Nugroho at the Theatre Spectacle in Zurich, Switzerland (August 2008) and the Indonesian Dance Festival (October 2008) in Jakarta. He was invited to dance in Lemi Ponifasio’s Tempest at the Auckland Festival New Zealand, and premiered his new work Possible Dewa Ruci at the Festival de l’Imaginaire in Paris in March 2009. Supriyanto received a Fulbright Scholarship grant to pursue a doctoral degree at UCLA in 2007. He is now a doctoral student of Performance Studies at the Gajahmada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. His research interests span traditional Javanese to contemporary dances, including the exploration of traditional styles versus modern, pop culture, film, and cross-cultural collaboration. Drawing from his ethnic origin in Kalimantan/Borneo, where he was born, and his upbringing in Magelang folk dance combined with a new interpretation of the classical/court Javanese dance, he engages in new situations and contemporary realities while continuing to observe traditional values.

    ASTRI KUSUMA WARDANI is one of the most talented Javanese dancers who graduated from the dance department at the Indonesian Institute for the Arts in Solo. She began her studies in Javanese court dance when she was 8 years old in her native village, Wonosobo. She has studied Javanese dance, improvisation, and choreography with Suprapto Suryodarmo, Rusini, Dedy Luthan, Eko Supriyanto, S. Pamardi, and all of her teachers at the SMKI (the Indonesian High School for the Arts) and at STSI/ISI Surakarta. Wardani’s dance and choreography have been presented throughout Indonesia at such venues as the Malang Arts Festival, the Sukuh temple in Surakarta, and in the film Opera Jawa, directed by Garin Nugroho. She has danced and choreographed Offering and Plain Kertas at the Dance Box for the Osaka Performing Arts Messe festival, the Osaka Sort Play festival in Osaka, and the Opening Theatre of Neue Ruine in Okayama, Japan. Additional credits include The Iron Bed, directed by Garin Nugroho at the Theatre Spectacle Zurich Switzerland (August 2008) and the Indonesian Dance Festival (October 2008) in Jakarta, Indonesia. Most recently, she danced and choreographed for Peter Sellars and John Adams’ opera A Flowering Tree, which premiered at Sellars’ New Crowned Hope Festival in Vienna, Austria. In February 2009, she premiered her new choreography of All You Can Eat at the Taman Budaya in Surakarta, Indonesia. Wardani is one of the foremost Javanese Court dancers in her generation, creating an atmosphere that combines the philosophy of the classical dance with the new vocabulary of contemporary dance. Her work with Peter Sellars is a testament to her commitment to a continued creation of works in dance and performance while simultaneously keeping the traditional style alive.

    DIANE J. MALECKI served for several years as Artistic Administrator of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, where she first worked with director Peter Sellars. She was subsequently invited by him to become Executive Director of the American National Theater at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where Sellars had been named Artistic Director. In 1987 Malecki was appointed Producing Director of the newly formed BAM Opera at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Since 1990, she has been working as an independent producer, collaborating primarily with Sellars on the development, production, and touring of his theater, opera, and festival work.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, presents the finest in orchestral and chamber music, recitals, new music, jazz, world music and holiday concerts at two of the most remarkable places anywhere to experience music – Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. In addition to a 30-week winter subscription season at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the LA Phil presents a 12-week summer festival at the legendary Hollywood Bowl, summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and home of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the Association’s involvement with Los Angeles extends to educational programs, community concerts and children’s programming, ever seeking to provide inspiration and delight to the broadest possible audience.



    111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

    TUESDAY, MAY 12, 2009, AT 8 PM

    Green Umbrella


    JOHN ADAMS, conductor


    PAYTON MACDONALD, percussion

    Composer’s Choice: Adams

    ANDRES How can I live in your world of ideas?

    MacDONALD Cowboy Tabla/Cowboy Raga for Percussion and Chamber Orchestra

    ANDRES Nightjar (LAPA commission; world premiere)

    ADAMS Son of Chamber Symphony

    Media sponsor: Los Angeles Magazine

    FRIDAY, MAY 15, 2009, AT 8 PM

    SUNDAY, MAY 17, 2009, AT 2 PM


    JOHN ADAMS, conductor

    PETER SELLARS, director

    JESSICA RIVERA, soprano


    ERIC OWENS, bass

    LOS ANGELES MASTER CHORALE, Grant Gershon, music director

    ADAMS A Flowering Tree

    May 15 Media Sponsor: Time Warner Cable

    Upbeat Live
    pre-performance discussions are free to ticket-holders, and occur one hour prior in BP Hall. Los Angeles Philharmonic Artistic Administrator Helane Anderson hosts the May 12 discussion; Philharmonic Vice President of Artistic Planning Chad Smith hosts the discussions scheduled for May 15 and 17, and is joined by Peter Sellars.

    Tickets ($24 - $49 for the Green Umbrella series concert; $17 - $125 for the LA Phil subscription concert) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office, online at, or via credit card by phone at 323.850.2000. When available, choral bench seats ($17) will be released for sale to selected Philharmonic, Colburn Celebrity Recital, and Baroque Variations performances beginning at noon on the Tuesday of the second week prior to the concert. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full time students may be available at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person; cash only. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Sophie Jefferies,, 213.972.3422; Lisa White,, 213.972.3408; Photos: 213.972.3034